As Langston Pattillo and High Stylin CD walked into the pen for the Metallic Cat National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Summer Spectacular McAlister Assets Classic/Challenge Unlimited Amateur finals, Pattillo was just happy to be there. Sporting stiches on his chin from a bike accident a week prior that knocked him out, he was glad to still be able to show.
Pattillo said he had also had trouble earlier in the show getting all three cows cut. He made it into the semifinals by one point, then won that round with a 219.
That same score — a 219, posted from the first draw — was leading the finals by the time Pattillo’s draw rolled around, but he didn’t let that worry him. Though he and High Stylin CD went into the herd after a different steer during their first cut, a yellow baldy volunteered. That cow started the pair’s run off well.
“On these steers, you have to go way up, so I was just wanting to get cut clean and be able to put my hand down in a good spot,” Pattillo said. “I feel like they are [tough] if you don’t cut them right, but if you cut them right and you cover them, and you don’t let them run you over, I feel like they’re a little different, but they’re not bad.”
While Pattillo felt like the rest of his run was a blur, it impressed the judges. After he and “Jones” rode out, a score of 223 lit up the scoreboard. That score wasn’t touched by any other finalists, and Pattillo and his gelding were crowned the champions.
It was déjà vu from the year before, when the duo won the Classic/Challenge Unlimited Amateur, in addition to the Amateur. For Pattillo, it was also bittersweet, as it was his last time to show Jones at a major event in the Will Rogers Coliseum. The 6-year-old gelding (High Brow CD x Stylin Playgirl x Docs Stylish Oak) will retire from his limited-age career at the end of the year.
“This is the last time I’ll show this horse in here. He means a lot to me and I just wanted to get him shown for myself,” Pattillo said. “I was OK with whatever happened, but when you get a good rhythm going, you want to just go on with it.”
Pattillo and Jones, who was crowned the 2018 NCHA Amateur Horse of the Year, have had a stellar career together. In addition to winning two titles at last year’s NCHA Summer Spectacular, the duo won the 2017 Brazos Bash Derby Amateur, 2018 Bonanza Cutting 5/6-Year-Old Amateur, 2018 Breeder’s Invitational Classic/Challenge Amateur, 2018 Pacific Coast Cutting Horse Association Futurity Classic/Challenge Unlimited Amateur, 2019 Bonanza Cutting 5/6-Year-Old Non-Pro and Unlimited Amateur, and 2019 Breeder’s Invitational Classic/Challenge Unlimited Amateur, in addition to many reserves and other top five placings.
With the winner’s check of $9,741, plus another check for winning the Gelding title, Pattillo’s lifetime earnings now stand at more than $337,000. Jones, who was bred by Sunrise Ranch LLC, boasts earnings of more than $220,000.
While Jones will possibly be sold following the end of the year, Pattillo is grateful to the gelding for the part he played in helping him become the competitive cutter he is today. He also thanked his trainer, Cullen Chartier, for always being there for him and for helping him with Jones.
“It’s been pretty awesome because before I started showing him [Jones], I’d only won like $40,000,” Pattillo said. “I had never really shown anything that good. It’s just weird now; I just kind of know him. It’s cool to have that bond.
“Everybody thinks they’re just show horses, but you get on them and you know how they feel and you know what they’re thinking,” Pattillo added. “He’s a good horse. He’s got a lot of heart.”
Duff Sinclair and Goodlookinsonofaich’s 219 earned the Reserve Championship and $9,364. The 6-year-old gelding (Cat Ichi x Sheza Skeeto Rey x Red Rey King) was bred by William and Billie Aylesworth and is owned by Sinclair.